Ostrich Farming in Hawaii
Would you believe that an ostrich farm operated in the middle of Kapiolani Park? In June 1890, three ostriches peered out of their cargo box in a Hawaii harbor, not aware that they would get a lot of attention and media coverage throughout their lives.
In the 1890s, Kaimuki was a sparsely populated, relatively undeveloped area. If you were to walk on its main dirt road, you would see the domed semaphore station with the lone watchmen, cattle grazing at Paul Isenberg’ ranch, and ostriches roaming around Dr. Georges Phillipe Trousseau’s farm in Kapiolani Park. He bought about 1,000 acres of land from the Lunalilo estate to start the farm, and the ostriches became an attraction as people went to the park to see them.
Two weeks later after the ostriches’ arrival in Hawaii, Mrs. S. G. Wilder reported to Dr. Trousseau that one of the hens laid an egg. He then said he would name the chick after Mrs. Wilder as “Kinau.”
Unfortunately, the other hen did not recover from the journey and appeared to be approaching death.
An ostrich laid twenty-three eggs including nineteen fertile eggs, but Dr. Trousseau could not get them to hatch, whether he put the eggs in the incubator or had the ostriches sit on them. The ostrich’s paddock was close to the highway, and Dr. Trousseau concluded that the stress that the ostrich felt from visiting people might have hindered the eggs from hatching.
The farm has faced challenges including the prolonged dry weather, issues with the irrigation facilities, and the resulting death of the farm’s grass. However, eventually Dr. Trousseau obtained an aermotor (a windmill powered by wind to pump water) to water the grass, which eventually grew “very nicely.”
In the beginning of November 1891, the French Army called Morisseau back into duty. Dr. Trousseau put the farm up for sale including two pairs of breeding ostriches, about 35 young ostriches, many purebred brown leghorn, a horse, the property, furniture, agricultural machinery, an express wagon, and a cart.
– Alice Kim
“A large number of people were out at the Park yesterday taking a look at the ostriches”
“Local and General”
The Hawaiian gazette., November 11, 1890, Page 9, Image 12
The Hawaiian gazette., July 01, 1890, Page 10, Image 10
“Ostrich Egg Laid”
The Daily bulletin., July 25, 1890, Image 3
“Local and General”
The Hawaiian gazette., September 23, 1890, Page 9, Image 9
The Hawaiian gazette., June 23, 1891, Page 3, Image 3
Farm for sale (ad)
The Daily bulletin., January 19, 1892, Image 1